he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more Leviticus 6:5
One-Fifth – In a world of madness, litigation knows bounds determined only by imagination and persuasion. The economic impact of this insanity affects everyone in society. We breathe litigious greed. That itself is a part of the world’s system of accumulation. “What’s in it for me,” does not begin in the court. It begins in my mind.
God established His own community centuries ago. Justice in that community has very specific limits. From our perspective, we might consider them almost inconsequential. After all, in a world where lawsuits demand hundreds of times repayment for loss, what is the consequence of a mere twenty percent? Why would God’s system of justice demand so little?
What we have forgotten, and what God never forgets, is that God’s point of view is all about community, not individuality. God’s justice does not tax the community in such a way that the social fabric of relationships is destroyed. God’s justice allows the guilty party to survive. Our justice cares nothing for the guilty party. Our justice is focused only on the victim. God’s justice sees the worth of both the perpetrator and the victim. In God’s justice, forgiveness counts.
There is, of course, another element to the madness in the world’s view of justice. Our system places property ahead of life. We value possession more than anything else. Therefore, we have huge lawsuits over property loss, but we think nothing of letting a murderer continue to live. In fact, in a world without community consciousness, we replace God’s value system where taking a life demands capital punishment with a materialist value system where wrongful death suits settle for money.
From our jaded perspective, God’s one-fifth provision seems ludicrous. But God sees more than we do. He sees redemption behind restitution. His thoughts never begin with “What’s in it for me?”
Are you thinking like God or has the world converted you to accumulated justice?